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Lean Next Generation
Pierre Kubalski, CEO, IMO Pumpen AB, Colfax Corporation, Sweden

"How to save thousands of kronor with rivets"

Do you know what a screw pump is? It’s used for fuel oil pump systems and for supplying lubricating oil in ships, for example. The Sweden-based IMO AB, a business unit of Colfax Corporation, invents such pumps and is a leading global innovator in this field. 

Maintain control about fastening elements and specialty solutions
However, innovation accounts for only half of our success. We owe the rest to our steadfast customer focus. For this reason, we are excited to be partnering with Bossard. Bossard takes an approach similar to ours: going the extra mile for the customer. For example, many of the fastening elements and C-parts that we use in our pumps are specialty solutions. In recent years, we used different manufacturers for fastening elements and C-parts, and we sometimes lost track. Some of our engineering drawings no longer matched the parts. Bossard put our parts lists back in order, compared the parts with the engineering drawings, adapted tolerances and dimensions whenever necessary, and sent the updated drawings to the world‘s best suppliers. That was fantastic! 

Consistently high quality of C-parts and outstanding consulting expertise
It all started in the summer of 2012 when our production manager contacted Bossard Sweden. He needed a solution for self-drilling screws. After an intensive test phase, IMO chose to go with Bossard as the supplier – ultimately not just for the selfdrilling screws but for all C-parts. What tipped the balance for us was the consistently high quality of the C-parts as well as Bossard’s outstanding consulting expertise – for example, consolidating our parts lists and providing input for our research and development. The introduction of the speed rivet from Bossard alone saves us thousands of kronor every year. Bossard has also automated our procurement process by setting up SmartBin. Up to that point, much of our purchasing had been a manual process. Today, we can again focus on our core area of expertise: designing innovative pump systems. 

Much of this optimization work was part of the Lean Next Generation project, which we carried out together with a lean production expert from Bossard. What we have gained and will continue to gain from our collaboration with Bossard are noticeably lower total operating costs. That’s the bottom line.

Ref. BSW-NG-MA-01314